Tag Archives: Nature

Cleaning out the inbox: salmonid edition.

HAmptoN-bROOKIE

 

Restoring the brook trout of southern Appalachia.

The Tennessee Aquarium and Appalachian Chapter of Trout Unlimited have been hard at work restoring genetically distinct southern brook trout to streams of eastern Tennessee- their latest efforts added nearly 300 fish to Little Stony Creek in the Cherokee National Forest.  Read more about the restoration effort here.

The Plight of Atlantic Salmon.

For the second year in a row, the number of adult Atlantic salmon returning home to spawn has fell below expectations.  There are bright spots- streams in Quebec and Labrador seem to be doing alright, but the overall outlook is gloomy for recovery of these species.  Want to learn more?

Quick clip on Yellowstone cutthroat restoration.

Check out the work Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is doing in league with state, federal, and private landowners to protect Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the inter-mountain west.

Monday Video: Viva Patagonia.

Monday Video: SBR Hendrickson nymph.

Last Best Streams: #1233.

 

It’s been fifty years since Congress’ great idea:  federally designating the nation’s most exceptional and historic rivers and streams for the sake of posterity.

This one was among the first- the surrounding land bought up after farms and sawmills failed during the Depression, with massive public works projects to reforest the landscape and build roads, bridges, lakes, and picnic areas.

It’s dramatic, the difference between the privately-held top and bottom portions of the river and the publicly-owned middle section.  There aren’t cows wading and shitting in that middle section.  County highway departments aren’t shoveling gravel out at bridge crossings to rock small roads.  All-terrain vehicles aren’t tearing up banks and gravel bars.  Paranoid locals cry foul about Big Government and how resources are better managed at the local level…but for all the faults of the Feds, the difference between public and private is stark on a ten mile float.

Monday Video: tributaries fly fishing

 

Tributaries Fly Fishing Film (2014) from Tributaries Digital Cinema on Vimeo.

 

Cleaning out the inbox.

GibbonBuff

 

Wyoming Woes

            Changing demographics and the death of 40 hour work week mean outdoor enthusiasts are more likely to watch birds and hike trails than take days off to hunt and fish.  It isn’t bad, but here’s the rub:  state conservation agencies are largely funded by hunting and fishing license sales.  A birdwatcher may not be paying into the system that protects their quarry, a hiker may not be paying into the system that maintains their trails.

            Western state agencies are among the worst off.  More than 90% of the Wyoming Game and Fish department’s funding comes from license sales- the state legislature provides practically no financial support, and many legislators prioritize mining, timber, grazing, and private property interests over stewardship of natural resources.

            The decline in license sales has left state agencies scrambling for new revenue.  One idea is a non-consumptive recreation fee attached to Yellowstone National Park.     The big question is whether revenue would be directed toward non-consumptive activities like hiking and birdwatching, or into the old hook-and bullet crowd.  Time will tell if we can find a compromise- and if hikers, campers, photographers and the like are willing to foot a bit of the conservation tab. .

 

Dolores River Review

I’ve written a bit about tensions on the lower Dolores River in southwest Colorado: Dolores County officials want the lower river protected; officials in neighboring Montezuma County fear protections would impact water extraction and development.

A few days ago, a Colorado court ruled the lower Dolores River should be managed, in part, for the protection of native fish species- specifically flannelmouth sucker and bonytail- fishes of the Colorado River found nowhere else on the planet.

 

Fortress of Solitude

Crazy.  That’s what I thought when I saw the new fly fishing clubhouse in Redding , California.  The new facility provides opportunities to engage the public in fly fishing, casting, tying, and other aspects of the sport- looks pretty neat.

 

One up, one down.

The good news?  Conservation efforts in Texas (of all placess) have led to delisting of the black-capped vireo.

The bad news?  The  Island Marble butterfly, found only in Puget Sound and rediscovered in 1998, is now a candidate for federal listing.  The species only occupies about 800 acres of our entire planet, mostly on public land.  Hopefully that’ll improve its prospects for survival.

Wild plum.

IMG_0461

 

Wild plum’s probably my favorite this time of year- for two or three weeks they’ll throw white flowers against black branches and their ponderous scent will drift in from unkept fields and fencerows.  A few twigs saturated with flowers bloom politely just over the back fence; I admire them and offer no quarter, knowing to conquer is their nature.